The Yorkville Screamer Unveiled
by Bill Cook, February 10, 2010
Sheriff’s Log, February 3, 2010: 5:43pm A Yorkville resident heard a male adult screaming for help off Elkhorn Road. The victim soon received emergency medical assistance, and we'd all like to know more about this one, Mr. Law Enforcer.
On Thursday, January 28, 2010, about eight in the morning, a period of rain having ended, I went down to the creek in a forest in the area below my house to work on the water system. Our water comes from springs and a horizontal well and I disconnect them during rainstorms to keep turbid water out of the system.
On Thursday nights I am taking the EMT class at the fire station and get home around 10:30pm. My partner, Kathy Borst, teaches at Anderson Valley High School. She goes to bed at 9 and gets up at 5am. So, on Thursday night, to not wake her, I sleep in my study. We usually don't see each other until dinnertime on Friday when we joke about ships passing in the night.
It was still wet down in the forest where the pump and water tanks are and in retrieving an overflow pipe I slipped and fell into the “Creek,” really an erosion channel about two feet wide by four or five feet deep. In doing so, I dislocated my hip, forcing the femur out of its socket in the pelvis. I was down in his channel with one leg flapping loose, a mile and two days away from anyone.
I got my body into a position where I could think. I did an assessment and determined that I had to move to where I could be seen and heard. Elkhorn Road was about half a mile away, uphill, but there was a clearing in the forest from which I figured I could shout to someone on the road. So I spent the day kind of scooting myself backwards through the forest.
At dusk, I made it to the clearing in sight of Elkhorn Road. A truck went by with its windows up and dogs barking. An hour or so later another truck went by with its windows down. I screamed and waved a stick. The truck stopped, a guy got out and walked to the edge of the road and looked in my direction. I kept yelling and waving my stick. He looked, then slowly turned around, walked back to his pickup and drove away.
To do it I had been in full meditation mode all day, accepting *everything*. So I accepted his driving off. Ten minutes later he came back with someone else. It turned out the guy, Ken, was hard of hearing and had gone to get a friend, Joe, because he thought he heard someone. Joe called 911 and the fire crew and EMTs were soon heading towards me with flashlights.
They did an incredible job getting me safely up a steep hill and into the ambulance. I drive the ambulance, but this time I got to ride and so spent the trip to the Ukiah emergency room talking to David Severn — as usual a direct, honest and restorative activity.
I thank Chief Colin Wilson for his leadership in my rescue, Sarah Bennett and the fire crew for carrying my fat ass up a steep hill at night, and EMTs Tiffany Avila, Sarah Farmer and Tina Walters for being who they are.
And Ken, for his hearing, thank you.